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| Jaw Disharmony in Clinton








Jaw Disharmony

It is common for parents to bring a child in for an orthodontic examination because the upper front teeth are protruding too far in front of the lower front teeth. They usually call this an overbite, but the proper term for this condition is overjet.  A large overjet is often due to a jaw disharmony where the upper jaw has grown foward too much or the lower jaw has not grown forward enough. This discrepancy between the growth of the jaws can be corrected while a child is undergoing a rapid rate of growth. Orthodontists use many different appliances to influence growth of the jaws, and that is why the proper name of the specialty is Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Although we have used many techniques that were directed at making the lower jaw grow forward more, we have learned that most of the correction occurs by making the upper jaw grow slower than the lower jaw, and this lets the lower jaw catch up. This treatment should usually be started by age ten for girls and twelve for boys, but this can vary depending upon the growth of the individual patient. The more severe cases must be started early and treated longer, so a two-phase treatment plan may be required. This first phase does not usually require braces on the front teeth. The second phase of treatment is usually started after all of the baby teeth are lost. Click two-phase  for more information.

Numerous appliances are used for orthopedic correction of the jaws, and most of them work by pulling or pushing back on the upper jaw. The headgear (also called a night brace) has been used successfully for years and is the gold standard for this treatment because it slows the growth of the upper jaw; it does not push the lower teeth forward; and it is only worn at night. All other appliances claim to produce a headgear effect, but they also cause the negative effect of moving the lower teeth forward. All orthodontists know that the lower teeth should not be moved forward in most cases. Dr. Rushing believes the best way to have the desired headgear effect is to use a headgear. Click headgear for more information.



Orthopedic correction of the jaws at an early age makes it possible to correct a large overjet without removing permanent teeth, and it also produces a better facial profile for the patient. 

TH had a severe skeletal disharmony. The upper jaw and teeth were protruding forward and the lower jaw was deficient and receding. Two phases of orthodontic treatment were required for correction.
TH Before TH Before TH After
ZH had his large overjet and jaw disharmony corrected in 28 months with braces.
ZH Before ZH Before ZH After

AN, 12 years old, had a protruding upper jaw with spacing of the upper teeth. She was treated in 26 months with braces.

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AN Before AN After
Clinton Dentist | Jaw Disharmony. Evertt Rushing is a Clinton Dentist.

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